First Class Stories

Every now and then people write to me and share the story of their First Ballet Class.
The Adult Beginner loves that!
It’s so neat to see the first plié through someone else’s eyes, amIright?
How it was different, how it was the same, that whole, “Yes, me too, I felt like that too!” feeling?
So I was thinking it would be neat to have some place where people can share their First Class stories and it might even be fun for people who haven’t had a first class yet to be able to read other people’s stories and be like, “ok, that’s not so scary”, or maybe even be like, “yikes, that is totally scary! But intriguing!”
Some place…
Like maybe a page on a blog?
So, hey, wanna play?
If you’d like to tell about your first ballet class ever, or your first class as a returner, or your first class with a new teacher or new style of ballet, or link to your First Class Story on your own blog, I would really love to read it and I bet other people would too.

77 Responses to First Class Stories

  1. Hi Adult Beginner! I’ve been creeping on your blog the last few days and noticed I never did post my first class story, so here we go!

    I was 25, post child, depressed and really really fluffy after years of eating my feelings and working at a desk 10hrs a day. I’d tried all sorts of exercise plans/programs and nothing stuck. Zumba, running (5ks and such), swimming, a 5 year gym membership (read: money flushed down the toilet), pilates, yoga…. you name it, I tried it. I tried all sorts of diets as well without ever committing. I sat down one day in frustration and thought about the things I loved to do as a kid/teen, and dance stuck out from the myriad of activities I used to do. I danced from 3-18 and was actually reasonably talented back in the day, so I decided to seek out ballet classes.

    My outfit for my first dance class was totally ridiculous. I sucked it up and bought a leotard, tights and ballet slippers, but I was super self conscious about it, so for whatever reason I decided to wear a pair of lavender leggings UNDERNEATH my leotard and over my tights. Because that weird idea won’t draw more attention… lol.

    The studio I settled on offered two ballet classes in my age range. Beginning, for ages 11 to adult, and intermediate/advanced, for ages 14 to adult. I tried out the beginning class first, and lo and behold it was several 11 year olds and me, the old, extremely tall (6’1) chubby adult. The terms and technique quickly came back to me, but my strength betrayed me.

    After class the instructor asked me to stay for the intermediate class. I took two classes that day– intermediate was better for me as it was almost entirely composed of adults and a few older teens, and I was able to keep up technically. The studio owner and instructor asked me to remain in the intermediate class, and that I did!

    Three weeks back to the barre I was asked if I’d be interested in joining the pointe class, so I did! At 2nd semester I added lyrical class, and performed that year in three numbers… technique, lyrical and pointe! Second year I added contemporary to the mix, and this year I’m taking lyrical, jazz, ballet technique, pointe, 2 tap classes, contemporary and I’m assistant teaching 3 little kid classes. Dance is what I thrive on and I’m SO happy I decided to take the plunge and try out dance again. I’ve lost over 50lbs from dance alone and it’s been a crazy whirlwind. I’m in the studio almost every day, and if I ever become independently wealthy (better start playing the lottery) I’ll be there 100% of my free time.

    Dance is amazing, terrifying, and the best emotional outlet around town. :)

  2. Ashley Daily says:

    My first reply on this bloggity-blog.
    This is a true story.
    I have only been taking Ballet for 5 weeks. I am, in essence, the beginningest of beginners.
    As a child I had such an overflow of energy, my parents put me in every sport they could afford: soccer, gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, softball, basketball. And you know what, I was pretty good at them all. In order to teach me to calm my cluttered mind, I also took piano lessons- and I ended up being really good at that. So, I studied classical piano in college and have been playing for 24 years now.
    But I always wanted to try Ballet. I devoured all the ballet movies I could find, got my sister to teach me the basic positions I wasn’t already familiar with (from gymnastics) and practiced everything. But, no ballet class for me. Sad.
    In college, I played in the symphony and I would watch the ballet dancers and be jealous.
    I did musical theater and danced with ballerinas- they were a dream to watch.
    My best friend is a dancer. My other best friend is a freaking prima ballerina.
    And still, no ballet for me.
    Yoga, yes. Running, yes. Marathons? Yes. Triathlons? yes.
    Ballet? no.
    I honestly thought my “ballet window” was shut. No one would teach an adult beginner, right?
    And then, the clouds parted, the sun shone and the angels sang: with the help of another dance friend, I found a class!!!!!
    I anticipated my first Saturday morning like a child waiting for christmas. It was even snowing the morning I first went to class.
    It’s a Barre class and there were 3 other people there: one young man (20’s), and one older woman (60’s) and the instructor. So, I jumped right in wearing a pair of leggings and a sweater dress, barefoot. It was de-lightful, de-licious, de-lovely.
    Immediately after class, I went home and ordered the NYC Ballet workout DVD, Mary Helen Bowers Ballet Beautiful, bought my first pair of slippers, a couple pairs of underwear that don’t ride up (you know what I mean!), and am planning my journey into pointe.
    I have drunk the Ballet-kool-aid and it is delicious.

  3. Kirra says:

    I just got home from my first ballet class! I have been anticipating it for a loooong time (like, 15 years?) and the stars finally aligned so I could do it. I am almost too exhausted to type, but here goes:

    I took a class at the academy of my city’s ballet company. They offer adult ballet about 5 times a week, but it’s all open, no specific level. I talked to someone there last week and they assured me I would be fine, any level of experience (or none at all) is welcomed. Since it’s downtown, and I do not live downtown, it was a bit of a hike to drive down there, but at least they have free parking for the ballet school! Plus, it was pretty cool to be in the same building where the company rehearses (though I don’t think I saw any company members while I was down there).

    The class was pretty big, at least 20 students, which surprised me since it was a weekday morning, and I seemed to be the only new one, so that was a little intimidating. There were maybe one or two others that looked like they were having a little trouble keeping up. I was also one of only 3 in pink tights! But I embraced the ballet and bravely faced my body in pink tights, black leotard, short black shorts, and a burgundy tank. I introduced myself to the teacher when she got there, and she told me she would mostly leave me alone for today, just watch to see what I can do. I danced jazz competitively from age 9-16, but it’s been almost 12 years now since my last dance class. I’m mostly new to ballet, but know a good deal of terminology and technique. I’m just so, so out of shape.

    So, the class was and hour and a half. We did about an hour of barre, which wasn’t too tough to keep up with, I just had terribly pathetic/nonexistent extensions. We didn’t do any stretches together, but got a 5 minute break or so after barre where everyone kind of stretched on their own. Then we did a couple different combinations in center, and a couple across the floor. I have to say it was very fast paced, and if I hadn’t already known 90% of the terminology I would have been totally lost, so this was definitely not a class for the absolute beginner.

    Overall, it was a fantastic workout and I had fun, but I had two complaints. 1. the teacher never once gave instruction on what our arms should be doing, so I felt like I was constantly flailing around trying to follow what everyone else was doing, and 2. she gave almost no corrections. To anyone. This concerns me, because I really want to get better and do things right.

    My conclusions: I will definitely continue with ballet, but I want to try out another studio or two before I go back to this one. I think I would enjoy a smaller, slower paced class where I can really focus on technique.

  4. Barbara says:

    I took my first ballet class about 20 years ago at the age of 50 with a teacher that gave INDIVIDUAL corrections by calling out your name constantly and you would get the same correction until you got it and then she moved on to a different correction. Adults were MORTIFIED but NOT ME!!! I am so incredibly THANKFUL for her because she was a dying breed and did have to close her studio because adults could not take it. They just want to go to a class and have fun not really learn the art of ballet because it is HARRD!!! Since then I have had to take from teachers such as yours and am ever grateful I started with a teacher that really cared about ME learning.

  5. BalletBing says:

    I had my first ballet class this past Saturday. I’m hooked! I’m a 38 year old guy, and I’ve been looking for something new to try that was social and athletic. I love SYTYCD and other dance shows, and I’m always jealous and wishing I could do what they do (hello Maddie Z!). I’m enrolled in an Absolute Adult Beginners class, so we were all clueless when we got to class. Our teacher is really nice and gives plenty of corrections. After an hour, it felt like we had learned so much and my confidence was really boosted. I feel like I could plié and tendu all day :). I can’t wait for my next class in a couple days. Hopefully this will be an activity I can stick with for the long run!

  6. Ray says:

    I have taken adult ballet class for years. I am always the only guy. Class is fabulous. I feel comfortable in tights and leotard. One teacher told us “Places girls” and Curtsey” every class. She always apologized and I got the sweetest smile. Another teacher told me she was okay if I wanted to wear a wrap skirt or a tutu. I never did. Ballet class requires strength, flexibility, balance and aerobic conditioning. I love ballet and class is a pure joy.

  7. I had my first class ever last night. I will probably write more about it on my own blog soon. This morning I’m so excited and not too sore. It was a “plus size beginners” class at a city rec centre. Although some people had ballet experience as children and others had taken the class before, I felt completely comfortable not knowing any of the vocabulary beforehand. I’d read lots of webpages about what to expect, so I knew that it would end with something called reverence that would be like the namaste at the end of a yoga class – but it wasn’t til I was actually doing it that I realized “Oh! This is what they do at the curtain call of a performance, when people are giving them roses!” and there I was, standing in front of a mirror in my old blue leggings and tank top and new pink slippers, doing the same thing as a real ballerina. Amazing.

  8. Martin says:

    Hi everone
    For 4 weeks I learn ballet. I´m 40 years old and a man, First I looked for a course for beginners and signed up. As a man, it was overcoming really go there too. But there were no comments or remarks. The group was very large .The teacher is wonderful and takes care of each dancer. Meanwhile the group shrunk to 7 students. Once we were only three of us.
    30 minutes we do stretching and strengthening exercises. Than we go to the barre and learn Tendu, degage and so on. After that we work without the barre In the beginning it is difficult to keep balance. But if it works it makes very happy. The first jumps were just fantastic.
    I realize how important doing stretching and strengthening exercises I need strength and endurance to work 60 minutes with or without the barre. As I said the teacher is wonderful and I’m learning a lot. She corrects us when necessary. I feel comfortable and happy to go there out.
    In addition, l learn ballet on Friday at another school. It is also for beginners. In principle, we practice the same things.
    I tried many different things (Ballroom Dancing, Zumba). Ballet is a big challenge for me (cognitively and physically), but makes me incredible fun.
    (sorry for my english)

  9. David says:

    Sometimes every class feels like first time class… I think that is a good thing. We in ballet are going beyond walking, running, jumping, tumbling, its an advance of normal human natural gaits. The horizons for this kind of thing are nearly limitless. Tricks are traps, but when mastered can be super fun.

  10. Cat says:

    So tomorrow I start my first ballet class as a mid-teenager. I know I’m not really an adult, but because I stumbled upon this page, I though other teens might too.
    I’ve always admired ballerinas in movies, and I can remember pretending to be a ballerina as a child. But I never really showed an interest until last year when I talked to my friend about dancing. I longed to start ballet, however I always thought- ‘ballet is one of those things where you have to have joined at five’. So I started contemporary instead.
    Three weeks ago I was talking to a friend who told me that she also really wanted to pick up ballet after giving it up at five. Long story short- I got excited and emailed my teacher asking if there was any way we could join in adult ballet. She said we could join Grade 2 instead.
    Eagerly anticipating my class tomorrow- I have done so much research and have pretty much memorised all of the barre commands! Though I am really excited- I am also terrified! I keep picturing a class full of seven-year-olds who are experts and then me as a complete beginner. Wish me luck!

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